April 2006 Newsletter
In This Issue From the President’s Desk
From the President’s Desk
Costco Wins Lawsuit – April was a busy month for WineAmerica in several key policy areas. The
Repercussions for following article outlines our progress. As the wine industry continues to grow at
both the state and federal level, it is increasingly important that we work toward
common goals and clarify our stances on critical issues.
Legislative Update: Direct Policy Statement
Shipping & Self-
Distribution In the last month, the Executive Committee produced an important policy
statement governing WineAmerica’s position on possible compromises for states
Tend Alert: Wineries Are facing legislative challenges to their ability to market wines. Many challenges
Increasingly Charging currently exist as plaintiff’s attorneys have been very aggressive in filing suits
Customers for Tastings and state legislatures have had to wrestle with the implications of the Granholm
and Costco decisions. The Executive Committee product, “WineAmerica’s
Online Dues Renewal Position on Size Limitations,” should be read in conjunction with the Board’s
Available; New Member’s recently revised statement on the need for wineries to have reasonable, effective
Only Website and cost efficient marketing channels for their wine. These documents lay out
both the need to preserve winery marketing capabilities and articulate that it is in
Legislative Library – not in the public’s interest for size limitations to be applied to laws governing the
Unique VA Law Model for direct shipment of wine.
As a fairly large number of states will address the issues of direct shipment and
Upcoming TTB Seminars self-distribution in early 2007, these policy statements of WineAmerica should be
used for guidance.
AWS Opens Search for
Both statements are available on our website in the Member’s Only
New Executive Director section. Log-in and click “Position Papers” in the drop down menu at the
Welcome to the Newest top of the page.
In April, WineAmerica joined with other groups for the National Grape and Wine
From the COLA to the Initiative board meeting in Washington, DC. This meeting brought together
Shelf: Tips for Getting industry and extension people from several states to evaluate the state of
Your Labels Approved and national grape research. They also focused on building strategy for improving
Out the Door the prospects for additional targeted research and extension funding necessary
to improve the competitive position of grape growers and processors, including
WineAmerica Staff table, wine and raisin grapes. While there are no easy answers, a solid
Contacts foundation has been built for cooperation with USDA and other Federal agencies
and for lobbying Congress to provide additional support for grape relegated
research. In the short term, the primary areas where NGWI is seeking to expand
research are for 1) clean plants, 2) nutritional benefits of grapes, 3) improving
available plant materials, and 4) working on sustainable approaches to waste
water. Several requests were made for additional Congressional funding in this
cycle and we will shortly know the results of those requests. We will keep you
updated as support for NGWI grows and specific needs are met.
Important Links Costco Wins Lawsuit – Repercussions for
Click above to go directly to
WineAmerica’s homepage st
On July 21 , Judge Pechman brought the three-year Costco trial to a close by
WineAmerica Supplier handing down a ruling largely favoring Costco’s claims that Washington State
Membership Webpage alcohol regulations violated anti-trust laws and restricted competition.
Click above to view a
complete list of WineAmerica Judge Pechman dismissed the Washington State Liquor Control Board’s
Supplier Members argument that the state’s rules governing distribution were justified under the
Twenty-first Amendment (gives states the right to regulate alcohol laws to
Alcohol Tobacco Tax & promote temperance, orderly markets and collect revenue). The state’s
regulations were found to satisfy none of these conditions. Therefore, the state
Trade Bureau (TTB)
Click above to view the TTB can no longer enforce several provisions, including:
homepage 10% minimum markup
Ban on high volume discounts and credit sales to retailers
Supplier Virtual Trade Ban on central warehousing
Show 30-day hold on price-posting
Click above to view the Require wholesalers to charge uniform prices to retailers
programs & discounts offered
by WineAmerica’s Supplier The ruling overturns a majority of the rules governing Washington’s distribution
Members system. The state has 30 days to appeal the decision or for the legislature to act
– Judge Pechman stayed her decision until that time. If the state does not
WineAmerica appeal, the Washington Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association, an intervener
Trailblazers defendant, can appeal the decision. It is likely that will happen and it is possible
Click above to view the that the case could go as high as the Supreme Court. In the meantime,
WineAmerica Trailblazers wholesaler groups and other state alcohol agencies will be watching to see how
homepage Washington handles the outcome of this case.
Legislative Update: Direct Shipping & Self-
firstname.lastname@example.org Although several states have resolved shipping and distributions issues for the
2006 session (sometimes favorably by passing pro-winery legislation, and
several unfavorable solutions of eliminating distribution or doing nothing to
change archaic laws), there are still a few state legislatures that are working on
legislation or have recently passed new laws. Here is the latest update:
Arizona – Though one direct shipping bill was recently killed in committee,
another one, HB 1276, looks likely to pass next week. The bill allows wineries
producing less than 20,000 gallons to ship to consumers and retailers.
Colorado – HB 1120 was signed into law in mid-April and goes into effect July
1 . The bill repeals the state’s reciprocal law and implements a Direct Shipper’s
Permit for in and out-of-state wineries. There are no quantity limits and the fee is
likely to be set at $50.
Delaware – Unfortunately wineries in DE did not fair as well this session. At the
end of April the Governor signed HB 336 into law which eliminates a winery’s
right to self-distribute. However, HB 379 creates a “limited wine importer” option
for importers selling and delivering less than 1,000 cases per year. The fee for
this new permit is $100.
Florida – The FL legislature is currently considering three bills that create some
system of direct shipment. Two bills, SB 282 & SB 144 create a $100 permit and
have no size caps. Both bills are moving through the Senate. HB 247 also
WineAmerica Board of creates a permit, though the fee is $250 and the bill contains a size restriction of
Directors 250,000 gallons. That bill has passed the House and moves on to a Senate
Alba Vineyard, NJ
Mike Williams Hawaii – HB 1968 repeals the state’s reciprocal status and creates a permit bill
Winery at Wilcox, PA for direct shipping. The bill has passed both chambers and is currently in a
conference committee where details on permit fees and quantity limits are being
Pindar Vineyards worked out.
Constellation Brands Kansas – SB 297 contains language that would allow wineries to apply for a
direct shipper’s permit for $100. The bill is currently in conference committee,
The Biltmore Company, NC though it has received support and looks likely to move forward.
Steve Gibson (Chairman)
Habersham Vineyards & Winery, GA Kentucky – SB 82 was signed into law by the Governor in mid-April. The bill
David Braganini allows wineries producing less than 50,000 gallons annually to ship directly to
(Secretary/Treasurer) consumers (permit fee $100) after an initial on-site purchase. The new law also
St. Julian Wine Company, MI creates a small farm winery wholesaler’s license for a $100 permit fee that
Kathleen Oliver allows wineries to sell at wholesale from the licensed premises.
Oliver Winery, IN
Thomas J. Held Maine – A bill, HB 1341, that had been moving through the legislature that would
Stone Hill Winery, MO create a direct shipping permit died in committee at the end of the month. It is
Eldon Nygaard likely that this issue will come up again in future legislative sessions.
Valiant Vineyards, SD
Ron Bitner Maryland – At the end of April, the Governor signed SB 812 into law. The bill
Bitner Vineyards, ID creates a limited wholesaler’s license for in and out-of-state wineries producing
Naomi Shepherd Smith less than 27,500 gallons annually. The new permit is $50 and is already
Grande River Vineyards, CO
Washington available for use.
Maryhill Winery Oklahoma – While the bills that would allow for direct shipping died in
L'Ecole No. 41 Winery
committee, Oklahoma wineries are still facing a battle over self-distribution.
Oregon Wholesalers have filed a lawsuit that challenges an OK law passed in 2001 that
Dick Erath gives in-state wineries the ability to self-distribute. The lawsuit is now making its
Erath Vineyards Winery way through the courts and legislators and wineries are waiting to see the final
Patrick Campbell Texas – Texas wineries are also waiting to see the outcome of another unique
Laurel Glen case. Three TX consumers and several California merchants are challenging
Pete Downs (Vice Chairman)
Kendall Jackson Wine Estates, Ltd.
the TX law that gave wineries the right to direct shipment, but neglected to
Herb Schmidt extend the same privileges to out-of-state retailers.
Robert Mondavi Winery
Richard Smith Vermont – SB 58 continues to make its way through the legislative process.
Paraiso Springs Vineyards
The bill creates a permit for direct shipment ($300 fee, 24 cases per year) and a
Jim Anderson (State Associations limited wholesaler license ($200 fee, 2,000 gallons per year). The bill has been
Council Chairman) getting support from lawmakers and should go to the full Senate for a vote in the
Missouri Grape and Wine Program, next week.
James Arthur Vineyards, NE
Boordy Vineyards, MD From The Grassroots
Presque Isle Wine Cellars, PA
Edward O’Keefe, III Georgia
Chateau Grand Traverse, MI
Jim Trezise Jennifer Montgomery attended the April
New York Wine & Grape Foundation meeting of the Winegrowers Association of
Lew Parker Georgia. It was an opportunity for wineries in
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards, VA
north GA to meet WineAmerica staff in person
and discuss issues of concern, including
immigration, the Farm Bill and TTB user fees.
Blackstock Vineyards & Winery, GA
WineAmerica Supplier The new Dean of Agriculture at the University of Georgia (UGA), Scott Angle,
Members joined the group for lunch and took the opportunity to express his commitment to
eSkye Software, LLC
assist the GA wine industry in getting much-needed permanent, tenured
www.eskyesolutions.com positions in viticulture and enology at the university, as well as supporting the
ongoing effort to make sure that the needs of specialty crops are addressed in
Idology Group, LLC the upcoming Farm Bill. Also attending the lunch were other UGA agriculture
faculty and extension agents.
www.kj.com North Carolina
Sell More Wine
www.sellmorewine.com While recently visiting grassroots constituents in
Brunswick County, NC, Congressman Mike
McIntyre (D-NC) stopped in at Silver Coast
Winery in Ocean Isle. While there, he toured the
Apprise Technologies vineyard and entire winemaking facility with
winemaker Dana Keeler and winery owner,
Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP Maryann Azzato.
In Short Direct Marketing Congressman McIntyre is a member of the House Agriculture Committee and
www.inshortmarketing.com has worked in support of the North Carolina wine industry and Specialty Crop
Inertia Beverage Group Block Grants.
McDermott Will & Emery Tennessee
WineAmerica Delegate, Rob Ramsey of Stonehaus Winery in Crossville, TN,
Merrill Lynch hosted a fundraiser at the winery for Congressman Lincoln Davis (D-TN) in
March. As member of the House Agriculture Committee, the Congressman has
TradePulse been supportive of the TN wine industry and federal legislative efforts to
establish a Specialty Crop Block Grant program.
Advance Packaging Corporation
www.advancepkg.com “Wineries have become important economic engines in many parts of rural
American Wines To You, Inc. America—including Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District, which is home to
www.americanwines2u.com the state’s oldest winery. Wineries positively impact an area’s local agricultural
Arton Glass & Ceramic Imprinters economy, retail economy, and in many cases, they initiate a new tourism-based
www.artonimp.com economy that’s impacts are far reaching. I hope we will continue to see growth
Bottle Gnek Inc. in all aspects of this industry throughout the great state of Tennessee,” says
www.vinamor.com Congressman Davis.
Capital Wine & Spirits
Trend Alert: Wineries Are Increasingly
Charging Customers for Tastings
Fine Vine Wines, LLC According to a Wine Business Monthly survey (May 2006 issue), wineries across
www.finevinewines.com the US are instituting fees for wine tastings when customers visit the tasting
Hinman & Carmichael, LLP rooms. Fees generally range from $3-$6, though many fees increase for reserve
www.beveragelaw.com tastings or sit-down tastings.
La Belle Amie Vineyard & Winery
www.labelleamie.com The survey also found that smaller wineries (those producing less than 5,000
cases per year) generate most of their sales in the tasting room. On the other
McCandlish Holton PC
www.mccandlishholton.com hand, larger wineries tend to do more business through wholesalers or overseas
exports. Due to the strength of tasting room sales for most wineries, the survey
MKF Group, LLP found that nearly three-quarters of respondents reported that they had an on-site
tasting room at their winery.
Pride Polymers, LLC
The Rawls Group
Valley Global Insurance
Valley Wine Storage
Online Dues Renewal Available; New and
Vine Tales, LLC Improved “Members Only” Section
Virginia's Best Now you can pay your dues online with WineAmerica’s new Online Dues
Renewal System! Simply login to the new and improved “Members Only” section
WinoWorld.com and select the dues payment option from “Quicklinks,” or click on the button
labeled “Pay Dues Online!” This new system will calculate your dues based on
gallons sold if you are renewing for a full year membership, or allow you to pay
the balance owed if you pay in two installments. It is easy to use, efficient, safe
and secure. Please allow 5-7 days after making a payment for your dues status
to be changed online.
The new and improved “Members Only” section is your one stop personal
homepage for all things related to WineAmerica and the wine industry! A new
navigation system called “Quicklinks” allows you to enroll in the cost saving
programs that affect your bottom line, check the label approval status for your
winery, make dues payments online, and access an array of other important
information. Items under the “Quicklinks” menu include:
- Label Approval Status
- Online Dues Payment
- Enrollment in the FedEx Program
- Enrollment in the IDlive Program
- Access to Discounted Member Programs
- Participation in the WineAmerica Trailblazers Program
- Key Links to Important Information
- Wine News from Around the World
- The Virtual Label Assistant
WineAmerica is very excited to offer these new tools and will continue to add
more benefits in the coming months!!! In the meantime, all you need is your
username and password to login to the new “Members Only” section. If you
need your username and password, please contact Kelly Rusk via email at
email@example.com to request your login information.
Legislative Library – Unique VA Law Model
for Other States
Recently passed legislation by the Virginia General Assembly and signed by the
Governor is a good model of pro-winery legislation that seeks to build the state
HB 1435 deals with special exemption and special use permits and bans
localities from adopting requirements for these permits that are more restrictive
than previous requirements. The bill also states that no locality can adopt
requirements or enforce existing restrictions that prohibit music or personal
parties on the property of a farm winery or are restrictive to construction of farm
Finally, the bill calls for the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry to examine the
“economic viability of the farm winery industry in Virginia.” The Secretary is
charged with assessing a range of issues and making recommendations to the
legislature. A portion of this assessment must include an examination of the
relationship between farm wineries and the community and the potential for more
streamlined permitting processes for marketing activities held on winery
Click here to see the entire bill.
Upcoming TTB Seminars Around the
Quick Tip: Country
** You can access all
Position Papers in the Federal Compliance Training in the Northwest Region for the Wine
Member’s Only section Industry, May 9-23, 2006
of the website – click Topics include recordkeeping and reports, changes after qualification,
“Position Papers” in
the drop down tab **
taxes, labeling and advertising, Pay.gov, alternation vs. custom crush, and
wine production and treatment materials. Register today!
Formula Seminar in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, May 3,
Space is limited. An additional seminar may be planned if this one
Are you a producer of beverage alcohol products or non-beverage
products and want to know more about how to obtain your formula
approval more quickly? Find out how.
Arkansas Training: May 11, 2006 – Federal Compliance Training
for the Wine Industry
American Wine Society Opens Search for
New Executive Director
AWS is currently looking for a new Executive Director. The position is posted in
the WineAmerica Job Classifieds on the website:
www.wineamerica.org/links/classif/Default.cfm. To view the job
click on the Employment category once you’ve accessed the Classifieds.
The American Wine Society is a non-profit “devoted to educating people on all
aspects of wine. Our members include wine novices, experts, grape growers,
amateur and professional winemakers, chefs, wine appreciators, wine educators,
restaurateurs and anyone wanting to learn more about wine and gastronomy.”
AWS would like any interested candidates for the Executive Director position to
be sent to them by May 31 . Contact information is included in the attached job
description. Also note that the job can be done from any location, so you don’t
have to move from your hometown.
Welcome to the Newest WineAmerica
Merrill Lynch provides financial services to WineAmerica members. To learn
more about what Merrill Lynch can do for your winery, click on this link for the
winery specialists: www.fa.ml.com/JPM
Six88 Solutions – Ship Compliant Software
ShipCompliant is the industry’s first online direct shipping compliance
management solution. This web-based software tool allows a winery to easily
manage the overwhelming and constantly changing environment of direct
shipping legislation. Manage your compliance status, run comprehensive
compliance checks on orders, and generate "sign and send" state shipping and
excise tax reports at www.shipcompliant.com.
From the COLA to the Shelf
Tips for getting your labels approved and
out the door
If not approached correctly, the TTB label approval process can be a frustrating
endeavor. Listed below are suggestions to help better prepare your applications
for approval. These tips have been compiled to reflect common mistakes and
DO NOT BOTTLE OR PRINT LABELS PRIOR TO GOVERNMENT
APPROVAL, IT IS ILLEGAL AND CAN RESULT IN YOUR WINERY
BEING AUDITED AND TTB PULLING PRIOR APPROVALS.
When printing your COLA applications, please ensure that they are the
correct size, printed on legal sized paper with the bottom bar at the
bottom of the page, and that the text is not reduced on the form.
If you are using a fanciful name, do not include the grape variety or the
classification of the wine in the fanciful name box.
If the word “Blend” appears on your front label (i.e. Winemaker’s Blend),
the blended varietals, along with their relevant percentages (adding up
to 100%), must also appear on that front label.
Be sure that your winery trade name and location, which appear in the
“bottled by” statement, appear exactly as they do in Item 7 on the COLA
application (name and address of permit) and on your basic permit. Be
sure to include “Inc”, “LLC”, “Ltd”, or others that apply.
Any statement of aging in oak appearing on the front label must be
accompanied by a specific statement of duration aged. (i.e. Aged in
American Oak “for 6 months”)
Revisions to Approved Labels: Remember to check on page 3, section
“V.” of the COLA application for specific instructions on “Allowable
Revisions to Approved Labels” which do not require a new COLA.
For all wines that have ingredients added to them, such as flavorings,
spices, or other juices, a formula must be approved by the TTB prior to
label approval. Allow plenty of time for this process.
The range for Table Wine is 7%-14%; wines that have an alcohol
content outside of this range may not use Table Wine as either the
Class/Type Designation or as the alcohol content statement.
Red, White, and Blush to not satisfy the class requirement. They must
instead read, “Red Wine”, “White Wine”, or, as in the case of a Blush or
Rose, either “Rose Wine” or “Pink Wine.”
If you plan on sending your label images via e-mail and your COLA
applications through the mail, please let the label specialist know
Review your labels from the beginning. Fewer errors at the start equate
to fewer delays, and therefore less worry, throughout the process.
Contact Jim Gore, Wine America’s Label Compliance Specialist, with
any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202)783-2756.
WineAmerica Staff Contacts
Bill Nelson, President
Kelly Rusk, Director of Operations & International Affairs
Jennifer Montgomery, Director of Grassroots & Political Affairs
Jenny Mattingley, Director of Communications & Membership Services
Jim Gore, Label Compliance Specialist